The cockroach robot that can overcome obstacles could help inspire new generation of search and rescue robot helpers. Jim Drury reports.
The cockroach robot that can overcome obstacles could help inspire new generation of search and rescue robot helpers. Jim Drury reports. STORY: The humble cockroach uses its body shape to overcome obstacles. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have made this robot do the same. First they used highspeed cameras to study the movement of the discoid cockroach. Then they tested a rectangular six legged robot on an obstacle course containing grass-like vertical beams with small spacing. It repeatedly got stuck, but by adding a streamlined shell like the discoid's the researchers saw results change dramatically. By performing a roll manoeuvre the robot was as adept as real cockroaches at navigating the obstacle course. It did so without extra sensors or motors. The team, led by postdoc Chen Li, hopes to inspire future robot designs for search and rescue missions and environmental monitoring. Their research was published in the journal Bioinspiration & Biomimetics.